March 13, 2008
In the wake of her victories in Ohio and Texas, Hillary Clinton and her revitalized campaign are feeling bold.
How to Talk to Iran
When President Bush assumed office, Iran was not a nuclear power. When his successor takes the oath of office next year, however, Iran will have achieved (or be on the verge of achieving) that status. Nothing the Bush Administration or the international community is doing now is likely to alter Iran's behavior over the coming year.
March 12, 2008
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina--Few things better illustrate the tragedy of Latin American populist and nationalist politics than the crisis related to natural gas in South America. A region endowed with vast reserves and governments that describe themselves as close partners is mired in crippling power shortages and cross-border disputes over cutbacks in the supply of natural gas.
Even if you are a Wikipedia fan who thinks the site is usually accurate, you can’t help but feel that there’s an implicit marker on all the content: "Maybe this is correct." That "maybe" is what sticks in the craws of so many people. Teachers often insist that their students cannot cite Wikipedia. Journalists and academics are embarrassed to admit they use it, and most would not consider writing for it. But if your goal is to improve human understanding, isn’t one of the world’s top websites a better outlet than University of Nebraska Press?
On Monday a friend gave me a copy of a memorandum (pdf) that Attorney General Michael Mukasey had circulated inside the Justice Department admonishing staff about how to deal with politically sensitive cases. "They must be about to bag another big-time Democrat,” my friend said, jokingly. Perhaps it wasn’t a joke. Within hours the wires were burning with reports that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer had been linked to a prostitution ring. In New York, the tabloid press and comedians are having a field day with the sudden, spectacular fall of Eliot Spitzer.
Disputations: Was '3 A.M.' Racist?
Sean Wilentz makes no attempt to respond to the points raised in my article beyond his huffing that it is biased. He merely repeats his earlier, quite absurd inversion of the course of events leading up to, and responsibility for, the injection of race in the campaign. He reveals his hand in his failure to find any "bad faith" in Bill Clinton's crude comparison of Obama's win in South Carolina with Jesse Jackson's years earlier.
March 11, 2008
Goz Beida, ChadThe Djabal refugee camp is a surprisingly green place. Its residents--15,000 Darfuris from an assortment of tribes and villages in western Sudan--have taken to growing crops in the camp to supplement their monthly food installment from the United Nations. Stalks of corn shoot up around the straw walls of the camp’s huts, and watermelon and cucumber vines curl across the scrubland paths. The refugees have lived here in Chad, 50 miles from the Sudanese border, for almost four years.
The Iranian–Israeli War
Immediately after the massacre of eight students in a yeshiva library in Jerusalem last week, speculation began within the Israeli security establishment and the media about who had dispatched the lone murderer. Was it Hamas? Hezbollah? Perhaps a new, unknown organization claiming to act on behalf of the "liberation" of the Galilee? In fact, the speculation was pointless.
I'm Goin' to Jackson!
JACKSON--In the year and a half that I have lived here, I’d never seen so many Mississippians gathered together here for a cause other than religion, alcohol, livestock, or some combination of the three. But at the Jefferson-Jackson-Hamer Day dinner on Thursday, an annual event organized by the Mississippi Democratic Party, hundreds of well-heeled party donors and activists crowded into Canton’s livestock show center, its dirt floor covered in hastily strewn gray carpeting, for some roasted catfish and barbequed pork.
Hold On--'3 A.M.' Wasn't Racist
Reading Orlando Patterson's op-ed in the New York Times, "The Red Phone in Black and White," is a depressing experience. Not only does the piece scurrilously accuse Hillary Clinton’s campaign of cutting an ad that borrows from the filmmaker D.W. Griffith's glorification of the Ku Klux Klan. Not only is this attack based on a Clinton advertisement about national security, not domestic policy (let alone race), that required a singularly tortured and biased "close reading" by Patterson to reach its conclusions.